A Twelve Month Clinical Trial of Chiropractic Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Migraine


A Twelve Month Clinical Trial of Chiropractic Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Migraine

FROM:   Australasia Chiropractic and Osteopathic Journal 1999 (Jul):   8 (2):   61–65 ~ FULL TEXT

Peter J Tuchin B.Sc., Grad.Dip.(Chiro), Dip.OHS

Objective:  To assess the efficacy of Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) in the treatment of migraine.

Design:  A prospective clinical trial of twelve months duration. The trial consisted of 3 stages: two month pre–treatment, two month treatment, and two months post treatment. Comparison of outcomes to the initial baseline factors was made and also 6 months after the cessation of the study.

Setting:  Chiropractic Research Centre of Macquarie University.

Participants:  Thirty two volunteers, between the ages of 20 to 65 were recruited through media advertising. The diagnosis of migraine was based on a self reported detailed questionnaire, with minimum of one migraine per month.

Interventions:  Two months of chiropractic SMT at vertebral fixations determined by the practitioner, through orthopedic and chiropractic testing.

Main Outcome Measures:  Participants completed diaries during the entire trial noting the frequency, intensity (visual analogue score), duration, disability, associated symptoms and use of medication for each migraine episode.

Results:  The initial 32 participants showed statistically significant (p < 0.05) improvement in migraine frequency, VAS, disability, and medication use, when compared to initial baseline levels. A further assessment of outcomes after a six month follow up (based on 24 participants), continued to show statistically significant improvement in migraine frequency (p < 0.005), VAS (p < 0.01), disability (p < 0.05), and medication use (p < 0.01), when compared to initial baseline levels.

In addition, information was collected regarding any changes in neck pain following chiropractic SMT. The results indicated that 14 participants (58%) reported no increase in neck pain as a consequence of the two months of SMT. Five participants (21%) reported a slight increase, three participants (13%) reported mild pain, and two participants (8%) reported moderate pain.

Conclusion:  The results of this study support the hypothesis that Chiropractic SMT is an effective treatment for migraine, in some people. However, a larger controlled study is required.